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Articles by Diana Beechener

Getting old isn’t for sissies.

From the outside, Debbie (Leslie Mann: ParaNorman) and Pete (Paul Rudd: The Perks of Being a Wallflower) have it made. A big house, two adorable kids and lots of luxury playthings. But look a little closer and you see the cracks.
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A fantastic concept gone horribly awry, Hyde Park on Hudson tells the story of the first time an English king visited America. It wasn’t a social call. In 1939, England was in grave danger from Nazi Germany and needed help.
    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray: Moonrise Kingdom) invited the king and queen to his New York estate, Hyde Park.
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The Master of Suspense would have made a ­better movie …

Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins: 360) was a great filmmaker with a lot of issues. He ate too much. He was pathetically dependent on his wife, Alma (Helen Mirren: The Door). Though their marriage was devoid of passion, he obsessed over the nubile blondes he directed. And, if Hitchcock is to be believed, he identified fully and had imaginary conversations with serial killer Ed Gein (Michael Wincott: A Lonely Place for Dying).
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Thank your lucky stars that your friends and family don’t resemble the people in

Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper: Hit and Run) is going through a rough patch. An undiagnosed manic-depressive most of his life, Pat got his diagnosis when he nearly beat the life out of his cheating wife’s lover.
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Like the story of Pi, this movie isn’t about lines of dialog. It’s about the journey.

Do you have faith? For some the question is easy; for others, an epic journey. One writer (Rafe Spall: Prometheus) is in search of true faith and a story to make him believe in God. His search leads him to Pi (Irrfan Khan: The Amazing Spiderman), a middle-aged man who shares a tale of survival and faith that rivals Job.
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A saintly man makes an uninteresting subject

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis: Nine) had just been elected to his second term. He enjoyed a wide popularity in spite of the Civil War, which slaughtered American citizens and deeply divided the country.
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Nobody does it betterSkyfall

Fifty years after James Bond ordered his first vodka martini — shaken not stirred — he has become a cultural icon and a bit of a Cold War relic. Donning an impeccable tux, swilling a few drinks, driving too fast in an Aston Martin and having casual sex with every scantily clad woman who catches his eye makes Bond a bit of a dinosaur. The actors may have changed, but the smarmy swinging-sixties vibe has remained.
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You’ll need an airsick baggie for this one

When SouthJet Airlines flight 227 falls from the sky, some miraculous maneuvers from the captain save most of the passengers from death. Captain Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington: Safe House) is thrust into the spotlight as the media clamors to learn more about the hero.
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You can make Hugh Grant old, but you can’t make him Asian

A butterfly flaps its wings in 1849 and starts a revolution in a futuristic Korea. Seven stories traverse time and space, interweaving in an overly simplified metaphor for reincarnation. Such is Cloud Atlas, a bloated, visually stunning, poorly acted and frustrating exercise in filmmaking.
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The scariest part of this movie is its lack of creativity

Five years ago, Katie Featherston killed her boyfriend, sister and sister’s family, sparing only her infant nephew Hunter. Katie and Hunter’s whereabouts are still unknown.
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